Faculty Development

Funded Mini-Grant Proposals

Funded Mini-Grant Proposals

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Nancy Jacobson, Department of Biology - Ithaca College (2009-10)

Proposal: Sustainability content case studies for Fundamentals of Biology

Outcome: Dr. Jacobson will incorporate sustainability more fully into Fundamentals of Biology by developing a series of case studies that will encourage students to apply scientific, systems, and critical thinking to investigations of the social and economic aspects of biological science topics.


Anne Stork, Department of Biology - Ithaca College (2007-08)

Proposal: “Examining the World through Evolutionary Biology”

Outcome: Stork developed a section of the course where students explored how an evolutionary biology perspective helps them to understand current sustainability issues/problems in areas such as ecology, conservation biology, agriculture, and human health and medicine.


Jim Hodges, EcoVillage at Ithaca (2007-08)

Proposal:  “Assessing and Enhancing Native Plant Biodiversity in the Schoolyard.”

Outcome: Hodges worked with several IC students within the context of his middle school science curriculum to study, document and enhance the biodiversity of the native plants growing in the Elizabeth Ann Clune Montessori School of Ithaca schoolyard.


Marty Hiller, EcoVillage at Ithaca (2005-06)

Proposal: Forest Farming as a Tool for Sustainability

Outcomes: Students will learn about the agricultural challenges of topsoil and water management, and about organic and permaculture approaches to solving those problems. They will analyze a site on EVI land and create a sustainable agricultural design for it. IC faculty contact and course: John Hopple and Susan Swensen, as “sustainability project” for Principles of Biology II (Spring 2007).


Marty Hiller, EcoVillage at Ithaca (2005-06)

Proposal: Evaluating the Ecological Footprint of our Dietary Choices 

Outcome: Using ecological footprinting methodology, students assessed the environmental and health implications of vegetarianism, veganism, and organic meat consumption. IC faculty contact and course: Principles of Biology lab projects


Tina Nilsen-Hodges, EcoVillage at Ithaca (2005-06)

Proposal: Developing Curriculum for Ecological Literacy; Local Ecosystems

Outcomes: Using the Cayuga Basin Bioregion map, biology or ecology students will develop sustainability curriculum modules for elementary and/or high school students that focus on ecological relationships within our bioregion. Students will develop hands-on materials and curriculum to teach understanding of the concept of an ecosystem, research and develop materials to teach about key constituents of our local ecosystems, develop ways of teach understanding relationships between these constituencies and in context to one another, develop ways to convey the life cycle of local ecosystems throughout the seasons, and develop outdoor experiences that support curricular goals. As the project culmination, IC students will work with students at Elizabeth Ann Clune Montessori School and/or Lehman Alternative Community School using the developed materials.


Rene Borgella, Department of Biology - Ithaca College (2005-06)

Proposal: Teaching Numbers. 

Outcomes: This project developed a module on conceptualizing large numbers so that non-science majors can better grasp population and resource issues on a national or global scale. This module included a suite of teaching tools (Powerpoint web-based tools and fact sheets) that could easily be translatable to any discipline. The target courses are Environmental Biology and Essentials of Biology.


Peter Melcher, Department of Biology - Ithaca College (2005-06)

Proposal: Inclusion of Sustainability in “Alternative Futures”. 

Outcomes: This project restructured an H&S Honors course around the theme of sustainability. Students develop their own “gestalt” map of sustainability (similar to EcoTrust’s Sustainable Society Model) to visualize how Equity, Ecology, and Economy are interrelated.


John Hopple & Susan Swensen, Department of Biology - Ithaca College (2005-06)

Proposal: Sustainability-Based Learning Modules in Principles of Biology II Lab.

Outcomes: Student teams investigate a sustainability-related biology topic (composting at IC, lake-source cooling, waste water treatment, Seneca Meadows landfill, bioengineering, etc.) that includes literature research, data collection, and development and delivery of a Powerpoint presentation.


Peter Melcher, Department of Biology - Ithaca College (2004-05)

Proposal: To develop course content for “Plants, People and Food Production”

Outcome: The modified curriculum included five new lectures on sustainability for a non-majors science class (90 students) titled “Plants, People, and Food Production” 303-10600-01 2A NS. These new lectures helped students to visualize that their actions and their consumption behavior are part of the problem and could also become a major part of our global resource solution. The instructor commented, “I feel that the modifications made to this course have greatly enhanced student awareness of the issues surrounding the use of Earth’s resources. I also noticed that students were attentive and verbal while discussing these issues in lecture.”

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